Figgy Espresso Cake

1 pound dried figs, stems removed
1¾ cups water
1 2-layer-size spice cake mix
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
½ cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
Sifted powdered sugar
1 recipe Honey Hard Sauce
1 recipe Honey Fruit Compote1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.
2. In a medium saucepan combine figs and water. Bring to boil; remove from heat and let stand, covered 10 minutes.
3. In a food processor (or half at a time in a blender) process until the figs are chopped.
4. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, substituting the fig mixture for the water. Stir in pecans. Pour into the prepared pan.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes
6. Remove cake from pan; set on wire rack placed over a shallow baking pan. Poke holes all over cake with a long-tined fork. Slowly spoon brewed espresso over cake. Cool to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature up to 1 week. Before serving, sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Use a serrated knife to slice. Serve with Honey Hard Sauce and Honey Fruit Compute.

Makes 16 servings

Honey Hard Sauce
1 cup butter; softened
¼ cup honeyIn a mixing bowl beat butter and honey. Cover and chill.

Honey Fruit Compote
3½ cups water
½ cup sugar
2 3-inch sticks cinnamon
4 lady apples, halved if desired, or 2 medium cooking apples, cut crosswise and quartered (10 to 12 ounces total)
4 Seckel pears, halved if desired, or 2 medium pears, cut crosswise and quartered (11 ounces total)
2 cups dried apricot halves
½ cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
½ cup brandy
⅓ cup honey
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel1. In a large skillet combine water, sugar and cinnamon. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add apples, return to boiling. Cook, uncovered, 3 minutes. Add the pears and cook 4 to 5 minutes more or until pears are just tender. Drain, reserving liquid and stick cinnamon.
2. In two clean 2-quart jars divide apples, pears, apricots and cherries. Combined reserved liquid, brandy, honey and lemon peel; pour over fruit in jars. Add 1 reserved stick cinnamon to each jar. Cover and chill in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, turning jars occasionally.
Makes 2 quart jars (16 servings)

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